Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are now the biggest killers of women in some countries. We tend to think Alzheimer’s is purely genetic, but only a small percentage of Alzheimer’s cases (mostly early-onset Alzheimer’s) are caused by inherited genetic mutations. Most cases of Alzheimer’s disease are linked to faulty dietary and lifestyle practices that trigger underlying mild genetic susceptibility to this disease, or directly produce changes to brain cells causing this disease to develop.
To reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease, clinical and experimental studies suggest the following:
- Don’t Smoke
Smoking significantly increases risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
- Use Alcohol Judiciously
Limit alcohol consumption to three drinks or less per week. Alcohol generates free radicals that damage brain cells and alcohol is a neurotoxin – toxin to brain cells.
- Avoid Head Injuries
Use a helmet when cycling, skiing, rollerblading etc., and be cautious with collision sports.
- Manage Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is an established risk for Alzheimer’s disease.
- Manage Cholesterol
High cholesterol clogs blood vessels in the brain leading to vascular dementia.
- Get Regular Exercise
Endurance exercise is shown to improve cognitive function in older people. Experimental evidence suggests it may breakdown beta-amyloid plaque in the brain – a hallmark feature of Alzheimer’s disease. Remaining at your ideal weight by eating fewer animal fats, trans-fats, sugary and starchy carbs and exercising regularly helps reduce high blood pressure and cholesterol and helps prevent type-2 diabetes, which also increases risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
- Mind-Body Engagement
Learning new tasks that involve mind-body co-ordination creates new nerve circuits in the brain, promoting better memory and preserving brain function. Examples include dance lessons, table tennis, badminton or learning a musical instrument. Don’t use your brain in the same way as you always have. If you do crossword puzzles, then switch to something that challenges your brain in a different way.
Sitting back and waiting for genes to take their course is rolling the dice when it comes to dementia and Alzheimer’s. Take preventative steps now and look forward to a long life with a sharp mind.
There are dietary supplements that have been clinically shown to fight the onset of dementia by targeting the brain’s chemical time bombs. Here’s a list for you to consider:
- Memory Support Nutrients that elevate brain levels of the memory chemical acetylcholine.
- Nutrients Enhancing Glutathione that have been shown to block nerve damage from free radical assault.
- High Potency Multiple Vitamins and Minerals should contain boosted levels of antioxidants that protect brain cells against free radical damage and other nutrients that facilitate the synthesis of important brain chemicals (neurotransmitters) and are vital for normal cognitive function.
- Essential Fatty Acids have been shown to maintain brain integrity, reduce brain inflammation, improve circulation and possibly discourage the build-up of amyloid plaque.
- Natural Sleep Aid Nutrients should contain natural agents that reduce free radical damage, induce quality sleep and raise brain levels of serotonin – an important neurotransmitter.